XLVIII THE OMAYYAD CALIPHATE 55 Khorasan under the Caliphate of Omar //., A.H. 99-101 (717-720).—Sulayman died after a short reign of less than three years, and was succeeded by the pious Omar, to -whose credit lies the abolition of the curses against Ali, which must have given dire and continual offence to generations of devout Moslems. Omar improved the position of the inhabitants of Khorasan, many of whom, though converted to Islam, suffered none the less on that account from the exactions of the tax collector. Sending for representatives of the oppressed, the Caliph himself went into their case, dismissed the Governor, and laid down that all Moslems should be placed on terms of perfect equality^ He enjoined justice towards the Persians who re- mained Zoroastrians, forbidding the destruction of their fire temples though not permitting the erection of new pyres. The Reign of Tezid //., A.H. 101-105 (720-724).— Omar II. was succeeded by Yezid IL,1 son of Abdul Malik. But the new Caliph had first to crush a rebellion raised by his namesake the son of Muhallab, who had seized Irak, and so far made good his position that governors ruled in his name in Pars, Kerman, and other centres in Persia, Maslama, the Caliph's brother, was selected to lead the Syrian army, which defeated the rebels, Yezid> their chief, being killed in the battle. His brothers, who fled by sea to the Kerman province, were put to death and their iramilies were sold as slaves. As a reward for his great services Maslama was appointed Governor of both Irak and Khorasan, To the latter province he sent his son-in-law Said, an effeminate man quite out of place as Warden of the Marches. In spite of Moslem expedi- tions there was a general rising or the hordes in Khojand and Ferghana, and the Soghdians, who remained loyal, suffered considerably before help could be afforded them. When troops arrived on the scene they attacked the Soghdians, who had by that time broken away from their allegiance, and there was much indecisive fighting and raiding. Altogether during the reign of Yezid II. the decadence of the Omayyad dynasty becomes more marked. * The examination by thit Caliph of the first recorded English traveller to the East It related in Chapter LIZ.